My Face Physically Hurts From Laughing At These 22 Innocent Cooking Mistakes People Have Made

    "We spent the next hour cleaning his kitchen together and going out for a meal. We're married now."

    I'll be the first to admit that I've had my fair share of mishaps in the kitchen that aren't necessarily unsafe but usually end with a sigh and me succumbing to ordering takeout. So it was comforting to see other people's minor kitchen blunders when redditor u/schmally_ward asked the r/Cooking community to share the wholesome cooking mistakes they've witnessed. Here are a few of the funniest stories people shared.

    1. "I went to grad school while working full-time and had a rough week. My wonderful husband decided to surprise me by baking brownies. I got home at like 11 and said, 'Ooh, I smell chocolate!' And my husband says, 'Not so fast… about that…' At this point, he sheepishly shows me a very wet-looking pan of brownies. He misread the box; it said to add 1/3 cup of oil, but he added 1 1/3 cups of oil. I held a trash bag open while he tipped the very oily brownies into it. They made a distinctive 'splat.'"

    Close-up of a spoon in a tray of freshly baked brownies

    2. "My dearly departed dad lived in the next town over and, in his old age, developed quite the sweet tooth and took up baking. I bought him a hand mixer, some bowls, measuring things, a rubber scraper, you know. He started baking everything! I'd come home regularly to some new treat on my kitchen table (he had keys to my place and was always welcome). One day, I came home to a beautiful pumpkin pie (in April!) and 41 messages on my machine (that's how long ago this was). Every message was some version of, 'For god's sake, don't eat the pie! I mixed up the sugar and the salt!'"


    3. "I was helping a couple of friends cook for a large group dinner. When I got there, my friend's wife asked me to get some paprika from the store. Nothing could go wrong with that, right? Well, we had just recently moved to Germany and just started getting used to German. For those who don't know, 'paprika' can refer either to the red powder we're all used to in the States OR what you would call 'bell peppers.' Having finally gotten into my head that 'paprika' usually refers to the vegetable in German, I got a bunch of them and returned, bags in hand."

    Hand holding a Stonemill Paprika spice jar

    4. "My dad needed to brine a turkey. He put it in a plastic trash bag. Which wouldn't have been awful, but it was one of those heavily scented trash bags. The turkey smelled like flowery cleaning products."


    5. "I was in my teens and wanted to cook for my mom for Mother's Day. I was going to make Fettuccine Alfredo, and the recipe called for wine in the sauce. Truly not knowing anything about alcohol, I asked my dad for some wine to add to the sauce. My dad thought I was making a red pasta sauce for dinner, so he gave me a glass of red wine to add to the dish! I thought it was weird, but I had heard that when using alcohol to cook, it mostly cooks out, so I figured it would be fine. Needless to say, the red wine coloring did not cook out, haha! But my mom still did very much enjoy her purple Fettuccine Alfredo!"

    Plate of spaghetti cooked in red wine with herbs and a slice of garlic bread on the side

    6. "I had a sister-in-law who had to learn everything from the ground up after a brain injury. Someone told her soy sauce was like salt, so she made us chocolate chip cookies with soy sauce."


    7. "During my senior year of college, I was making teriyaki chicken. Fifteen minutes in the oven, it suddenly smells like I'm baking a cake. Our Costco-sized vanilla was right next to our normal-sized teriyaki sauce. I mixed them up when I poured the 'teriyaki' in to marinate. Chicken should not taste like vanilla cake. My boyfriend managed to eat a whole drumstick. We are married now."

    Person holding a bottle of vanilla extract next to a pot of rice on a stove

    8. "My wife (girlfriend then) wasn't a great cook when we met. She tried to make gnocchi and Alfredo sauce. The gnocchi did what they do best when cooked and stuck together in a big potato pile. She didn't have any Parmesan cheese, and she thought she could just sub anything. So, she subbed for Pepper Jack. So, the gnocchi with Alfredo was turned into mashed potatoes with garlic Pepper Jack cream sauce. Which was good but not at all what she was going for."


    9. "When I first got into baking, I ran out of flour partway through the recipe. I was only about 1 1/4 cups short of the recipe, and everything else was ready. Using my best 10-year-old, 'I can figure this out on my own' logic, I reasoned that powdered sugar was close enough because they are both white and powdery, and I thought cornstarch would make my cookies taste like corn. The end result was ridiculously sweet gloop brittle."

    A tray of freshly baked  muffins on a stovetop that are raw and have caved in the center

    10. "A friend of mine was raised in China and immigrated to the US. He and his family are very dear friends. They had some fairly amazing culture shock moments. For example, the grass in front of the house they were living in had gotten long, so a neighbor asked the mom if she had a chance to 'cut the grass.' She smiled and nodded, went into the house, and handed scissors to the family members. The four of them went out and began to cut the grass with scissors. When the neighbor noticed, he laughed and said, 'No, we use a machine!' He brought his mower over and mowed their lawn."

    "So, now the cooking story: We were staying at a vacation cabin, and my friend was put in charge of making the bacon. He was handed a cast iron skillet and a pound of bacon. Then, as an afterthought, he was given a grease splatter screen.

    We checked back with him a couple of minutes later, and he had dutifully peeled each piece of bacon and laid it in rows on top of the screen, which was placed on top of the cast iron skillet over a flame on the stove. He had gone to wash his hands when I checked his skillet.

    We just turned the screen over to flop the bacon into the skillet and went back to the hashbrowns. When he came back, we explained how the bacon was to be cooked on the cast iron surface, and the screen kept the grease from splattering. We had a good laugh about it."


    11. "You know those Pillsbury cans of rolls and cinnamon rolls? The one you press a spoon in the seam to pop it open? God bless my wife; I asked her to open one while I did another task super quick. I came back to find that she had taken a can opener to one of the ends. Between giggles, I grabbed a spoon and showed her the magic of the seam. I absolutely adore her."

    Person holding a peeled-open canned Pillsbury biscuits with contents partially visible

    12. "My husband had never had peanut butter before, so he proceeded to make himself a peanut butter and iceberg lettuce sandwich. Also, when I first took him to a sushi restaurant, he didn't realize you were meant to de-shell the edamame and bravely started chewing and commented they were quite chewy and tasted a 'bit green' before I could stop laughing and tell him. I love seeing my husband try new foods."


    13. "For health reasons, I used to use plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream for Tex-Mex dishes (not for baking). My ex-husband made tacos for himself one night and smothered them with vanilla yogurt, thinking one white yogurt would be like any white yogurt. I watched in amazement as he ate every morsel."

    Three chicken tacos with toppings on a plate next to a small salad bowl

    14. "My husband, a very good cook, made me Japanese curry way back when we first started dating. He was in the kitchen (my kitchen, not his own — this is relevant to the story) for a while and seemed a little distressed. When I checked on him, he apologetically told me the curry wasn't thickening, no matter how much flour he added, and he didn't know what was happening. I told him I was sure it was fine and asked to taste it. And…it was so sweet, like curry candy. He'd grabbed the jar of powdered sugar instead of the flour. We did not have curry that night."


    15. "My mom saw allspice in a recipe, and since she didn't have it, she used a mixture of all the spices she had."

    A neatly organized spice rack with various labeled seasoning containers

    16. "A guy I'd gone on two dates with invited me to his place for dinner. I was kind of on the fence about him (compatibility-wise), and prior to showing up, I'd informed all my friends where I would be and to notify authorities if I wasn't home/responsive to messages after a certain time. The jokes were flying between all of us while I was getting ready about how he could be a serial killer, etc., which didn't help my state of mind."

    "I showed up and rang the doorbell, no answer. I ring again. Nothing. I call, and no answer. I figure I'm being blown off and start to leave when the door opens. 

    I'm staring at my date, who is out of breath and covered in what appears to be blood or a blood-like substance all over the front of his shirt and some on his face and hair. I froze.

    It turns out he'd been trying to blend roasted red peppers and tomatoes in a blender for soup but hadn't sealed the bottom properly (or the top), and there was a massive explosion.

    We spent the next hour cleaning his kitchen together and going out for a meal. We're married now. He's still a splattery mess in the kitchen."


    17. "My friend asked me to bring some basil, but she pronounces 'basil' the American way (BAY-sil), so I thought she said 'bagels.' I handed her a bag of bagels when we walked in, and she was like, 'Oh...thanks?' Then, as she was preparing dinner, she said, 'Did you get that basil for me?'"

    A sealed package of onion bagels on a wooden table

    18. "One time, my sister was baking, and I came downstairs to see her with her entire hand submerged in some cookie batter. I asked why she was doing that, and she said the recipe said to stir by hand."


    19. "We were having a potluck at work, and this guy who isn't known for his cooking offered to make deviled eggs even though he admitted he had never done it before. They tasted fine, but he cut the eggs in half the short way and couldn't figure out why they kept falling over. We wondered if he had never seen a deviled egg but knew that wasn't possible."

    A plate of deviled eggs cut horizontally on a white surface

    20. "I was sitting at the kitchen counter with one of my friends, and my mom was trying to figure out which side of the chicken goes up before she started seasoning it. She was standing there, dangling it by one leg and spinning it around. Then she set it down, leaned back, and slowly flapped her arms like chicken wings. My friend and I lost our shit laughing. We all still joke about it."


    21. "My sweet husband wanted to have dinner done for me when I came home after a long day at work. Unfortunately, making cereal was the extent of his kitchen skills in those days. He tried to make a box of Hamburger Helper Beef Stroganoff. Halfway in, he realized we had no milk and convinced himself he could strain the cookies out of cookies and cream ice cream and just use the melted vanilla base instead. It was... unsuccessful. He managed to eat half a plate, and I had a sandwich. I love that goomba."

    A bowl of macaroni with creamy cheese sauce and ground beef topping

    22. "Every summer when we were kids, my cousins and I went to my grandmother's for the summer. If we were good, we got to help her make dinner. One day, my cousin and I (probably eight or nine years old) were slicing potatoes for home chips, and my cousin stopped, looked my grandmother dead in the eyes, and said, 'Grandma, what part of the cow does the potato come from?' I think about this every time I see a potato."


    Are there any wholesome cooking mistakes you've witnessed (or made yourself)? Let us know in the comments or fill out this anonymous form!